3G twelve years ago was fast. Today if you get a full 3G reception you can barely load Google’s landing page. Why’s that?

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I just feel like they renamed 4G into 5G, 3G into 4G and Edge into 3G.
Jokes aside, I know the overall amount of data to load today per website/video/images is way heavier than before, but still. A simple Google search doesn’t require much more to load than 12 years ago.

In: 2211

38 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Adding here that it took 20min on 3G before managing to post this via the Reddit app, until my phone went back to 4G

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your phone is doing a lot more in the background now then it did 12 years ago. For every visible web request there are dozens of hidden ones for updating app feeds and notifications.

Anonymous 0 Comments

When 3G was the new hotness, all the telephone providers put up hundreds and hundreds of antennas to support the new, fast technology. As 4G, and later 5G came out, the older antennas were taken down, and replaced with the upgraded antennas.

Back in the day, your cell phone could talk to 5 different 3G antennaes, and there was plenty of antennas to support the entire population of 3G phones. Now, there might only be one antenna for 20 mi circle, so everyone who’s still on 3G phones has to use that one antenna, making it very slow

Anonymous 0 Comments

Answer: as 4G and 5G networks and devices have become more widespread, infrastructure for 3G is being removed or doesn’t receive the resources needed to function at the levels it did during its heyday.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A simple google search does require much more data then befor especialy on a smartphone. 12 years ago goolge knew that you dont get much up/down speed and probably didnt have a large data limit so they made the search as light weight as possible. Nowadays they dont realy care anymore and they care to get as much data from you as possible, this takes up most of the needed data. Another point is 3g was upgraded to 4g nearly everywhere so if you get to an area that has very low priority for fast internet (otherwise it would have been upgraded). So it says 3g but you probably didnt get the maximum speed that is possible with 3g anyway.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In a day, 3 of us on phones and computers generate over 60,000 dns inquiries of which about 28% are to trackers and as servers (which I block). So each of those 20,000 sites wants to garner a little data packet about you or push you an ad.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Its about frequency bands, since lte can make better use and fit more traffic thanks to better/ complex modulations(thus why early lte chips were more power hungry). More operators strart repurpose these bands away from 3g into lte, leaving for 3g bare minimum band which usually only good for voice or very limited amount of bandwitdth.
Plus like many other said, pages grown more since then and there lot background loading

Anonymous 0 Comments

Web dev here. Websites need more data and resources to load now than it did back then. We generally optimize for newer devices and networks because it’s easier. I assume this applies to native apps too. With every app update you do, the slower it will run on older devices.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Planned obsolescence, do you think that Google/Apple/Samsung/etc. want you to keep your 12 year old phone? Even the current model of phone carriers are in on it because if they can get you to buy a new phone every 2 years on one of their “plans” it’s a win for both industries.

Also websites back then were built around the fact that bandwidth and compute power were a luxury so performance was a key metric, these days it’s not for the majority of users.

Anonymous 0 Comments

With the new technologies that surpass the current limit, are born new necessities that put a limit on the new tech, effectively renewing the cycle.

Remember when the internet was all about text?, New and faster connections allowed for the images to enter the conversation, so new necessities were born for the new connections, when those limits got surpassed with new technologies once again, the videos entered the game, again, new limit, and when that was surpassed live streaming entered the game.

View it as PC: Old text boards, Facebook memes, YouTube videos, Twitch Streams.

In phones: SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Memes, YouTube Videos, TikTok videos.

Basically 3G was fast for what we used to do, the necessities were on par with the internet connections we had back then. Just a few images and mostly text, But now the necessities we have are way higher than back then, which are mostly videos and a lot of pictures and highly developed web infrastructure.

PS: i used to love a quote/question from the Jurassic Park book, I’m paraphrasing since i don’t remember it exactly: “why mom’s take the same time to clean the house as they took 50 years ago when they didn’t have any of these automatic and efficient machines?”

And the answer is that with new tools, new necessities are born, the mom takes the same time with more tools because since she has more facilities to clean faster, she can afford to dirty more, since she knows she’ll be able to clean.